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September 2, 1899

Locomotor Ataxia Has No Relation With Syphilis.

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(10):617-618. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450620055018

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New York City, August 25, 1899.

To the Editor  —The German correspondent of the Phila. Med. Jour., August 19, page 333, speaking of Heidelberg clinics and the dread nature of syphilis, says: "Professor Erb, from his researches in one thousand cases, believes that 'tabes' (locomotor ataxia) is almost without exception due to syphilis."How would Professor Erb explain the fact, that in Japan, where syphilis has scourged the population for 1300 years, locomotor ataxia is unknown? In a venereal clinic of ten thousand cases I did not find a single case of locomotor ataxia. Nor did I meet a native physician who knew of such a disease as "tabes."Opposed to this opinion of Professor Erb, in Germany there stands that of Professor Virchow, who believes that syphilis has no relation whatever to locomotor ataxia.Albert S. Ashmead, M. D.[Apropos of the above from Dr. Ashmead, we quote the

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